The Docker is a medium-sized dog and also a hybrid dog. These dogs have been developed by combating the Dachshund and a Cocker Spaniel. This breed has been purposefully developed to be a house pet and a dog that can keep you company around the house. They still do not have a long history as they have only been developed recently when the breeding of these dogs started.
Nevertheless, designer breeds, as they often call them, have a specific place in people’s hearts. This is why the Docker gained so many interests form various people and is getting a lot of attention now. More breeders are available now than there were before a few years ago.
Docker History & Origins
There is not a lot to discuss the origin of the Docker. The breed is fairly young as it was only developed in 1999. The interbreeding between a Dachshund and a Cocker Spaniel was done successfully and resulted in a hybrid breed that we call Docker today. Both the parent breeds were originally developed to be hunting dogs, but the Docker has never been used in such away.
Perhaps it is able to retain some basic hunting instincts, but its purpose is mainly that of being a pet and a family dog. All in all, Dockers have risen in popularity and are being used for dog shows as well. A lot of celebrities own one and it is the main reason why so many people want to have one now.
Characteristics & Temperament
Docker is an affectionate and very intelligent dog. This breed is a good house pet but can be a little bit difficult to train. You need patience in order to train this kind of a dog properly and also you have to give it early socialization with other animals and people. It is not really suitable for really small children as a Docker has inherited a high prey drive from its ancestors. They tend to snap and could bite early on. You can still prevent this with proper training. They do like to spend time with their masters but there are instances when Dockers have a stubborn streak and try to act independently.
As far as other activities go, they like playing fetch and enjoy running around. It is advised that you provide them with an exercise of between 45 to 60 minutes a day. They like running around and playing in parks, A Docker is also good at agility training and will thrive when they have energy physical exercise. If you do not provide them with such an activity, the dog will get bored and most likely develop behavioral problems.
Docker Appearance, Colors, Size
A Docker is usually small to medium in its size. The appearance is somewhat standardized or is being so, as many dogs still only inherit some parts from one of their parent breeds while the other ones take after the other. Until this is standardized the Docker is not going to be accepted by any major Kennel Club. Their size is usually between 9 to 15 inches and they weigh about 20 to 30 pounds.
The coat of a Docker dog will warry depending on the Dachshund side of its parentage. This means that they could either have short hair, long hair or wire hair. As far as the colors go, they will either be tan, black, brown, white, cream, and gold.
These dogs are described as having a deep chest, short legs, floppy ears, big feet, and a long tail. They also have a constantly alert expression on their face and often seem like they are smiling.
Similar to its parent breeds, the Docker has a lifespan of between 12 to 14 years. These dogs will also inherit some of the major and lesser health conditions that usually affect both of its parent breeds. When it comes to major concerts, these dogs are liable to Retinal Dysplasia, Seborrhea, Color Dilution Alopecia, and Acanthosis Nigricans. But some lesser conditions that also need to be checked for include Entropion, Ectropion, Lip Fold Pyoderma, and Exposure Keratopathy Syndrome.
Grooming & Shedding
It is not easy to estimate if grooming a Docker is easy or not. It mostly depends on the type of coat the Docker ends up with. If the combination is a long Dachshund coat combined with a soft Cocker Spaniel one than you might be in luck. If you have any other combination, you just might have to do more and do much more grooming than you would expect. Sometimes, these dogs might have a strong odor so you can consider using some dog perfumes. All in all, you have to brush the dog’s hair on a weekly basis, or in some cases on a daily one. The ones with the long coats have to have regular trims from time to time. You can estimate it when the hair gets long and you can even do it yourself.
Bathing your dog regularly is also good to do. But do not overdo it. Try to give a bath to your dog only when absolutely necessary when they get really dirty. But if you brush their coats daily they are not going to attract so much dirt and you will be okay. Make sure to clean their ears and so you prevent infections. Other kinds of grooming include brushing their teeth and clipping their nails when necessary.
Price and Breeders
The Docker dog is now fairly easy to get. Since their inception, the dogs have only been gaining on popularity and their breed has been expanding. You will see a lot of breeders located in America and Canada. But there are still a lot of them in the rest of the world. If you want to buy such a dog you will have to spend around 600 to 800 dollars for a puppy.
Alternative ways of getting Docker are additions. A lot of rescue groups have been founded as well and they provide people with a different way of getting a fine dog. Organizations such as Texas Dachshund rescue have an offer of great dogs to check out.